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Mazey touts gains, poses challenges in State of BGSU address PDF Print E-mail
Written by DAVID DUPONT Sentinel Staff Writer   
Tuesday, 17 September 2013 13:41
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Bowling Green State University President Mary Ellen Mazey is seen speaking inside Donnell Theatre this morning. (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
In delivering her State of the University Address, Bowling Green State University President Mary Ellen Mazey had plenty of plaudits to pass around.
Speaking in Donnell Theatre in the Wolfe Center for the Arts, she praised those who negotiated the first contract with the faculty union. She praised faculty honored for their scholarship. She praised administrators who secured a “perfect” accreditation visit. She praised staff for helping veterans and working on the new Falcon Health Center. And students for their success in everything from securing fellowships to study in China, to research in neuroscience to success on the volleyball court and baseball diamond.
Mazey cited the creation of the new Math Emporium, that changes the way math is taught, new majors including forensic science and the new Honors College, one of the key elements to attracting more academically prepared students. She took the occasion to name Dr. Simon Morgan-Russell as the new dean of the Honors College.
The push to recruit and enroll more academically prepared students has brought in the freshman class with the highest ever grade point average, Mazey said.
That push was driven in part by the state’s change in its funding formula. Now what matters most is how many students graduate, not how many are enrolled.
That’s just symptomatic of the financial issues the university faces.
“Simply put, the current operating model for higher education and Bowling Green State University is unsustainable,” Mazey said. “With student debt on the rise, we cannot afford to continue to raise tuition to cover our costs. Therefore, we must lower our costs and increase our revenues.”
Mazey said that “in recent years,” the state’s share of the cost of instruction has declined 30 percent while it has gone up as much as 9 percent for other state universities.
BGSU must “become more competitive with our peers,” she said.
“We must change and adopt current best practices in higher education. Embracing the spirit of innovation to become more competitive is essential for BGSU.”
Mazey then spelled out “10 key issues that we must address and think about strategically on a day-to-day basis.”
Those issues were:
• Introducing new graduate and undergraduate academic programming to boost enrollment.
• Developing partnerships in the private and public sector, including with Owens Community College.
• Having more flexible class schedules to meet student needs.
• Providing every student with the chance to learn outside the classroom with internships, co-ops, service learning and community service. Every major, she said, should “have a capstone course that assists the student with the development of a portfolio to help launch his or her career.”
• Increasing study abroad opportunities and bringing in more international guests to campus.
• Designating new distinguished professors in teaching and learning and in research and professional service.
• Continuing efforts to “embrace the diversity of our community and stamp out intolerance.”
• Seeking new “funding streams” including research grants and licensing agreements for technology developed on campus.
• Implementing the new master plan including providing new academic space in Olscamp and “the Traditions Buildings.”
• Making sure once students enroll, they are retained and graduate with a career focus.
“Whether you teach, conduct research, work in the recreation center, provide care in the health center, work on the grounds or work in our dining facilities,” she said, “please make sure our students have the support they need and feel like they are the most important part of this great university.”
She concluded: “Innovation, collaboration, partnerships and change will be the keys to our future.”
Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 September 2013 14:00
 

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